Our innate plasticity

By Dave Henning / June 11, 2023

“The human brain and body are phenomenal in numerous ways.  One example is our innate plasticity.  This ability to shift, change, and grow is a beautiful gift that our Creator gave us, facilitating many important processes in our body.  Plasticity . . . is especially important in our strong-like-water work. – Aundi Kolber

“Neurons that fire together wire together.”- Hebb’s axiom

Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 3 of Strong Like Water with her observation that our innate plasticity helps us heal from trauma and other types of pain.  In addition, that plasticity has actually allowed us to adapt and survive these chronically disturbing, overwhelming, or traumatic experiences in the first place.

Furthermore, Aundi states, we maintain this plasticity throughout our lives.  However, our brains are especially pliable in childhood.  Hence, what we pay attention to quite literally changes our brain.  So, if the blood flow and energy of the brain gets constantly directed toward a threat, rather than a lasting connection, that creates a lasting effect.

Therefore, Aundi stresses, she grieves when she hears people say they became an adult before their time.  In that case, she notes, it doesn’t feel like a compliment when other people say you’re mature.  Because God designed our bodies to receive a certain level of care and support.  Thus, it’s traumatic when we don’t.  Because we trade in patterns of connection for ones of protection.  Above all, that leaves a mark on your body, on your soul, and on your brain.

In conclusion, Aundi asserts, the prerequisites to heal and move toward integrated strength = a level of safety and connection.  And we communicate goodness and even safety through compassionate resourcing.  Aundi explains the concept:

“Compassionate resourcing is learning to have a posture of coming alongside and remaining responsive to the parts of ourselves and our stories that do not yet feel safe.  Then, at the pace and in the ways we are able, we begin to offer experiences, connections, and moments to ourselves that do communicate safety.” (emphasis author’s)

Today’s question: How do you see innate plasticity helping your strong-like-water work?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Witness versus with-ness”

About the author

Dave Henning

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